Grooming Guide for Hot Summer Nights (and Daze)

by Mark Thompson

EDGE Style & Travel Editor

Tuesday July 3, 2012

Lazy days and dog days might lull you into late summer apathy - but don't get fooled. Like so many things you like to imbibe and ingest, the sun is a two-faced monster: good for you in small doses, your nightmare in overdose.

Want to know the best possible summer skincare regimen? Stuff your face with prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, and beets. That's right, all those fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants.

For protection from the sun (and even after a sunburn), eat red and orange peppers, which contain high amounts of lycopene and beta-carotene, both of which help repair sun-damaged skin.

Finally, after gorging on good produce, apply good product. Creams that contain biopeptides and SAP stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, obliterating those pesky lines and wrinkles.

Follow a good skincare regimen - and you'll get the answer you're looking for when you ask that mirror who's the fairest of them all.

Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector™ Sunscreen SPF 50

Yes, of course, we all love a little sun on our faces - but caveat emptor. If you're buying into the beauty myth that tanned skin is more attractive, then it's imperative that you know the facts.

Sit down for this. Men over fifty are more than twice as likely as women to die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. That's a wake-up call, hmm? And how about this statistic: 60% of invasive melanoma cases are diagnosed in men.

Enough already with the cancer. It's time to be sun smart. Enter Kiehl's with a brand-new sunscreen formula for summer 2012 that blocks the sun's strongest rays while offering anti-aging, antioxidant protection.

Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector™ Sunscreen SPF 50 is a lightweight, oil-free fluid with sun-filter technology for UVA/UVB SPF 50 protection that deflects 98% of harmful UVB rays.

Formulated with three distinct antioxidants, Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector™ Sunscreen SPF 50 contains goji berry and vitamin E to reduce free radical damage and protect skin, as well as einkorn wheat, which stimulates the skin's natural anti-oxidants.

Safe for sensitive skin and water resistant for eight minutes, Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector™ Sunscreen SPF 50 deserves to be your new best beach buddy - all summer long.

Save your skin for your summer love.

PRICE: $23.00 / 5 fl. oz.
LINK: Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector™ Sunscreen SPF 50


Skin&Co. Roma: Truffle Gommage

Truffles imply luxury - and luxury is the first feeling you have upon applying Skin&Co.'s Truffle Gommage. As soon as this luxuriant exfoliating lotion touches your skin, you feel as if you're in the hands of a gifted aesthetician, someone who is committed to returning your skin to its youthful radiance.

The smell is intoxicating - evocative of a high-end spa in the south of France, where your treatment will be followed by a nine-course tasting menu featuring local, sustainable produce. You want to lick your fingers as they make small circular movements around your face.

Meanwhile, on your skin, Truffle Gommage is eliminating dead cells, thanks to jojoba oil crystals that delicately and deeply scrub, even as they melt at the touch, leaving your skin as soft as silk.

The black truffle extract in Truffle Gommage provides superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients. Studies have revealed that SOD is a great scavenger of free radicals, while also helping to reduce fine lines. Formulated with shea butter and olive oil, Truffle Gommage also contains vitamin E and allantoin, as well as sunflower oil and carrot extract, all of which work together to promote skin hydration and cellular growth.

Founded in 1911, Skin&Co's first emporium in Umbria, Italy (renowned for its truffles) produced personal hygiene products for a local clientele. A century later, Skin&Co's is still owned and managed by the third generation of the founding family.

Packaged in elegant containers that look like something the royal families of Europe might sanction, Skin&Co products are as seductive on the shelf as they are on the body. And while it's likely that you'll consider Skin&Co products for a host/ess gift this season, it's also probable that you'll be tempted to keep these luxurious products for your own morning ablutions.

Take it from us, Truffle Gommage returns luxury to your morning.

PRICE: $31.00 / 50 ml
LINK: Skin&Co. Roma Truffle Gommage


Jane Iredale: Balance Antioxidant Hydration Spray

Summer is great - until your face starts melting down. You're racing across town; you're late for a date; you're riding a packed train - and your face is schvitzing. All well and good in a spa or a Turkish bath, but alas, you're still dressed.

What you need is a hydration spray. Something to complement the bottle of water in your hand. You need a facial mist.

Hydration sprays are summer's secret weapon - and Jane Iredale has a collection of sprays that help to balance the skin's oil production and pH. Based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Jane Iredale's comprehensive skincare line is available in more than forty countries. Not only does your face get much-needed hydration with the Balance Antioxidant Hydration Spray, but this elixir also is formulated with ingredients that battle free radical damage with a fresh, clean fragrance.

This summer, spritz that mug with Balance Antioxidant Hydration Spray before you step into the elevator or the office - and your face will look refreshed while you feel positively dewy. A deionized floral water with natural ingredients that calm and nourish the skin, Balance Antioxidant Hydration Spray contains tangerine, grapefruit, and green tea leaf extracts. The botanical extracts neutralize free radicals with antioxidants while preventing bacterial infection and environmental damage.

And just to let you know, it's never a good idea to spritz your face with bottled water, given that most spring waters contain chalk - which is not the look you want this summer. No chalky residue.

What you want this summer is fresh.

PRICE: $18.50 / 2 fl. oz.
LINK: Jane Iredale Balance Antioxidant Hydration Spray


Kiehl’s: Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

Certain skincare lines inspire almost fanatical followings, with devotees proselytzing in such glowing testimonials that resistance is nearly futile.

Surely, Kiehl's has some of the most rabidly devoted fans, as was made abundantly clear to us several years ago in an Equinox locker room where we overheard two extremely buff specimens debating the merits of several Kiehl's products. Admittedly, this was in South Beach, but nonetheless, we were impressed by such expressions of devotion.

Recently, at a dinner in New York, we were reminded of that scene in the locker room when a woman we hadn't seen in three months met us at a restaurant looking as radiant as Jennifer Aniston. And when we inquired, she swore up and down that it wasn't fillers or Botox, no cosmetic work whatsoever - only Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate.

It certainly made us sit up. An immediate favorite upon its debut in 2005, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate is currently Kiehl's best-selling product.

When ingested, vitamin C counters fatigue and infection - and when used on the skin, vitamin C enhances skin radiance and helps skin recover from aging. Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate is formulated with 10.5% pure vitamin C, which means that your skin receives a line eraser every bit as potent as Retinol - but without that irritating skin sensitivity. Used over a period of weeks, this potent treatment drastically reduces fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and brow.

Now engaged in a partnership with Harvard Medical School, Kiehl's is currently exploring preventative strategies to minimize the impact of skin cancer. Until then, make it easy on your skin this summer. Use Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate under your moisturizer for antioxidant protection and collagen production. Two little pumps of this smooth, lightweight lotion daily and by summer's end, you'll be ready for your Fashion Week close-up.

PRICE: $58.00 / 1.7 fl. oz.
LINK: Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate


Joey Healy: Brow Structure Clear Set

At least one party this summer is going to require you putting your flawless face forward, which means bye-bye unibrows and caterpillars.

Joey Healy's got you covered with his Brow Structure Clear Set. The spiral brush grooms your eyebrow hairs, while providing just enough shine.

Think of the water-resistant clear gel as hair gel for your brows - but without that crispy critter thing going on upstairs.

Groom your brows into place with this flake-free formula - and yes, go ahead, you can use a little on your eyelashes as well for a clean, natural look.

Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. Bat the eyes and watch them sink to their knees.

PRICE: $25.00
LINK: Joey Healy Brow Structure Clear Set


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.